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swarmofseals

My experience providing GHB feedback to the design team and my thoughts on GHB2019

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Just a comment on the quality of the rules front.

I think it's inarguable that AoS isn't a tight rules set highly suitable for  intense competitive play.  I do think GW does tend to focus on 'is this a good rules set for fun play' (which could be competitive, or narrative or open.)   It's possible I'm sure  to make a very tight rules set that is also  'fun' but it's probably harder.   GW historically goes with making the game they think gamers who are trying to have fun are attracted to  and anything else is a bonus.   

Give GW deserved credit for generally  making games that lots of people want to play.   Yes they are bigger and it's easier to find a game but that's not all of it - AoS when it launched was a much smaller community then it was at peak of WFB but it rebounded quickly with lots of new players joining the community over the last 4 years.     That's because the gaming system is fun, the models are cool and attract 'not serious gamers.'   It's not because it's the very best system for rules lawyering tight highly skill determined matches.    Blood Bowl survived roughly ten years of no GW releases on basis of it being a very fun rules set (and a great player community who took the ball and ran with it.)   It also happens to be a very clear rules set for competitive play but that's not what it was designed for IMO.  

Xwing in 1.0 was historically a tighter rules set (I haven't played 2.0) and was largely quite a lot  of fun though the business model made it less so.  The business model intentionally created imbalance around new releases in a 6 month span.  Something 1-2 years old was usually unplayable.  

I've been hearing for roughly 25 years that X, Y, or Z new game was the greatest new product on the world and that game was going to replace GW games completely in a year.  Almost all of those systems have gone out of business or are now a small fraction of their peak success.  

GW's toy soldiers are amongst the few things I bought 29 years ago that I still own and can use as intended all these years later.  That is pretty amazing.   Think about it what else do you still own and use that you bought decades ago. 

 

Edited by gjnoronh
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6 hours ago, Dead Scribe said:

Slaves to Darkness has almost no offensive capability at all, they have an ok defensive unit in warriors, and the demon prince can be made to be useful.  Considering how awesome the model range is for them all, thats almost criminal.  The varanguard models are some of the best models in the entire game and they are just horrible rules-wise.

Small aside. Khorne Varanguard are excellent, they do require Archaon however.

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2 hours ago, pseudonyme said:

You should listen to the honest wargamer Stormcast faction focus podcast épisode with Jacob Rage of sigmar. There he says that Malifaux is a far better system than AoS, BUT, AoS has the best fun community ever :D

Episode 2 they both talk about how they left Malifaux due to the "gotcha" moments the rules create.

I think people need to listen to the Stormcast podcast and hear how the designers approach the game. Plenty of interesting insight into the process there.

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1 hour ago, gjnoronh said:

 

I've been hearing for roughly 25 years that X, Y, or Z new game was the greatest new product on the world and that game was going to replace GW games completely in a year.  Almost all of those systems have gone out of business or are now a small fraction of their peak success.  

That's so true. I may have my moments of bitterness over this or that from GW, but that's the exception rather than the rule for me. Over the span you mention, however, I've watched folks who claimed to be GW fans - and many haters - await the next GW-killer with glee. In the end, they are always disappointed, which makes me happy.

 

When I worked at my local game store back in NY (decades ago ... hmm), some customers and staff would claim that the next one was The One. I would always reply with something like "Oh, you mean like the last one? Who plays that one, now? Hey, did you see the slate of new releases coming from GW this month?"

Warmed my blackened evil heart, it did. Still does.

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On 6/21/2019 at 5:27 PM, Forrix said:

While there is some hyperbole to my statement, this is a dice a game with a high level of randomness after all, I picked those examples as I'm literally rocking a 0% win rate against LON and a 100% win rate against Nighthaunt as Nurgle.    ...when I look at the emerging power level among 2nd edition battletomes I get very concerned for how Nurgle will be doing in the forth coming year. 

I've struggled with Nurgle, particularly against LON, and literally cannot find any tactical advice beyond "Just be glad he didn't take more Grimghast reapers". Then you come on forums and hear about how Rotigus should be 400 points and you must suck or are just a try hard. Hell, in a facebook group a guy said Nurgle belongs up in A tier with Fyreslayers then declined to give any reason as to why.

 

 

I'm not sure I have much advice for the Nighthaunt player, although it's possible that switching over to Legion of Grief would be helpful. Nevertheless, I'm aware that Nighthaunt are very much struggling and they have a lot of very questionable warscrolls, especially if paired up against an army that tend to have a lot of high bravery units like Nurgle.

As far as advice against Legions of Nagash goes, I think it depends a lot on the build you are facing off against. That said, a couple of things that jump out at me:

  • Most Nurgle units have relatively bad offense and relatively good defense. This is a problem against LoN because you really need to be able to destroy their units and zone out their gravesites to stop them from returning those units. Your lack of ranged firepower means that it will be difficult to kill their general.
  • If you are getting out-dropped by your opponent you will be in a really bad place as you likely won't be able to get to the objectives first, which is an extremely difficult position to start from when you lack offense.

So if you aren't already going under your opponent's drop number, you should really try to. Beyond that, Nurgle actually has access to some incredibly good offensive units, but they require branching outside the "traditional" Maggotkin framework. You have access to Plague Monks, which are by far the most offensively efficient unit in the game. A couple of big blocks of these guys will really help you burn through your opponent's units entirely while also giving you bodies to block his gravesites. Plague Furnaces are also great as they keep your monks battleshock immune, are quite good in combat in their own right and might keep a VLoZD away given that they can do a lot of mortal wounds.

Another option is the Pestilent Throng, which gives you access to Bestigors and Centigors, both of which can be great against LoN. Bestigors hit hard, particularly against large units, and Centigors hit reasonably hard and are extremely fast (great for punishing mistakes and zoning out gravesites). Ungors and Ungor raiders are great too. 

I'm not sure if you are using Rotigus or not, but he seems very bad to me against LoN. You want concentrated damage, not spread out damage and Rotigus is too reliant on his spell which is a liability against LoN. Oddly, I think this matchup is a real opportunity for the Glottkin to shine as long as you keep him buried behind plenty of chaff. He will supercharge your offense even if you never manage to get his spell off. Particularly nasty with Plague Monks or Pestilent Throng stuff, and if you ever manage to resolve Blades of Putrefaction your opponent is going to get wiped out.

On 6/22/2019 at 12:08 AM, JackStreicher said:

I don‘t know about bonesplitters, but there can be a good reason to advice against a faction:

if you are trying to „recruit“ a new player or a Warhammer 40k player I would advice against „weaker“ armies since it will be more likely that that person quits the hobby if they are being stomped each game. 

Though I‘d usually not say „don‘t get it“ but something along the lines: „They‘re cool and fun but they‘re not that strong, so keep in mind that you might have a hard time with them“

in my experience (I‘ve given 15-30 Introduction Games each year since I started) it is more likely people will stay in the hobby if they start with a „strong“ faction, they‘ll fan out to buy other faction anyway but they‘re not put off due to their chosen faction causing them frustration.

Certainly, this reasoning is absolutely fair. I think you just have to try to understand the player's context when giving them advice instead of information. "That faction is generally considered to be underpowered right now and you may struggle to win games with them" is very different from "Don't play that faction, they suck". The first statement gives the person information and they can decide for themselves how important it is to them. The second makes assumptions and pushes the player based on those assumptions. A statement like the one you suggested is great because it doesn't make those assumptions.

It also matters what context the person is playing in. If most of the locals are running old factions without battletomes or are playing largely softer lists, then taking a "weak" faction might actually lead to better games, but if the locals are running mostly recent armies with an eye toward tournament level competition then buying into a "weak" faction might be a huge exercise in frustration for everyone. 

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46 minutes ago, Sleboda said:

That's so true. I may have my moments of bitterness over this or that from GW, but that's the exception rather than the rule for me. Over the span you mention, however, I've watched folks who claimed to be GW fans - and many haters - await the next GW-killer with glee. In the end, they are always disappointed, which makes me happy.

 

When I worked at my local game store back in NY (decades ago ... hmm), some customers and staff would claim that the next one was The One. I would always reply with something like "Oh, you mean like the last one? Who plays that one, now? Hey, did you see the slate of new releases coming from GW this month?"

Warmed my blackened evil heart, it did. Still does.

Yep,  all of this.  I know when I rage quit after 8th I tried a bunch of different games and none of them ever mixed that pitch perfect cocktail of lore, models, fun, battle size, community, and competitive play that whfb always struck. 

Malifaux had all the problems several of the posts above have mentioned, and again small scale skirmish just does not scratch my wargaming itch like massed battles do.  There was KoW, usually the alternative that I see a lot of people try to push whenever they get disenfranchised with GW, and again all of them almost always come back (its just so boring).  Tried infinity, x-wing, 9th age for brief spells too; none stuck.  None of them were ever able to do what GW games always did for me. 

In the end once they fixed matched play for AoS and then 2.0 had come out it was a no-brainer to come back.  Really it isn't a lot different then any of the WHFB editions in how the player response has been over time.  I just think the change was significant enough and roll-out tone deaf enough that it pushed the 6month - 1 year rage quit window that normally accompanies a new edition to 2-4 years. 

I remember when 8th came out it took a good year to recoup the player base in our region after a bunch of people rage quit over steadfast and whatever other random rules people were sure were going to make the game unplayable, most of which turned out to just not be that big of a deal (I still chuckle about steadfast sometimes, given how incredibly underpowered and underutilized infantry ended up being that edition with minor exceptions).  Everyone was saying because of 8th, warmachine hordes was going take GW's place at the top of fantasy gaming, a year later pretty much everyone I knew was back playing GW games talking about how toxic warmachine had been.  5th to 6th had a similar exodus, 7th was more 6.5 so that wasn't as big a deal from what I remember, but point remains.  This happens every 2-4 years with GW, bunch of people get super upset declare something else is better only to come back a year or 2 later realizing they had it so much better with GW. 

Truth is some of those other games have really tight and competitively balanced rules, but GW has a lot of other things going for it and always has managed to get its competitive ****** together enough to make it all worth while.

Edited by tripchimeras
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As a counterpoint to the many comments telling people to wait and be patient for an update.  Let's not forget what waiting and being patient has done for Destruction players so far. 

Moonclan, Gutbusters, Greenskinz and Gitmob all frozen out of GH Allegiance Abilities for year after year after year.  The whole point of GH Allegiance Abilities was to act as a band aid for armies until they got a book - GW put in place a fantastic system to patch up armies in the interim, and then failed to use it for (and only for) the one GA that needed support the most and which was also getting the fewest book releases.

Being patient has worked for Moonclan.  It may yet pay off for Gutbusters, although that still doesn't really explain why they have had to labour without any rules for an extra 2+ years and counting.  It doesn't look like paying off for Greenskinz players and it emphatically has not paid off at all for Gitmob players or Mixed Destruction players, who have a tiny and dwindling range of Battleline options.  Some of us are now looking quite nervously at our beautiful and expensive Forgeworld monsters, whose only purpose in Matched Play is being part of a GA army for example.

So no, based on my experience, I don't think it's fair to extol patience.  If you don't get good rules today, don't just sit their waiting patiently for years on end, otherwise GW may end up just deleting your army entirely as a reward for your patience.  You might get lucky and you might not.  Advice to just sit tight and be patient isn't always terribly fair or helpful in that context.

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Well, the last two years is kind of the time for 40k, they get about 22 codex released. In the first half of 2019, AOS is speeding up a lot. I think eventually GW will give updates to fractions that it thinks worth supporting and leave GA behind. Besides, except for being patience, I don't think players have much they can do.  The best choice might be start another army.

One thing might worth mentioning is that GW reorganize the website list last year, merging a lot fractions, such as skaven and aelf. Then all skaven as a fraction get a battletome this year, so the list shown on GW website now might be the fractions GW wants to keep updating for the future.

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@PlasticCraic remind me what armies after Brets and Tomb Kings that got the boot?

I'm not sure what advice other than patience ome can really give. Do you want us to tell people to go play something else instead?

AoS 2.0 was the jumping off point into a stronger effort to actually get things on the table in ways that make them playable outside of the Grand Alliance lists and microfaction format. This shift means they basically reset the clock on how long you'll be waiting for a real update (still waiting on a Free Peoples book myself). We have word the goal is to have everyone done by the end of 2020 with it looking like more will be coming soon.

Edited by Fulkes

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Gitmob just got deleted from the game this week.

I think it's therefore legitimate to be concerned about whether people will be able to continue to use things like the Magma Dragon in Matched Play for example, if and when GA armies are finally abandoned entirely, which again isn't great when you've bought these things in good faith.

Probably in a practical sense, I would advise new players to be very careful of "just buy what you love".  I would suggest doing some research first and making sure you buy an army that GW intends to support in Matched Play into the future.  Which probably means something with a recent Battletome if you want to be safe.

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@PlasticCraic Was there anything in Gitmbob that isn't in Moonclan in terms of models?

Edited by Fulkes
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8 minutes ago, Fulkes said:

@PlasticCraic Was there anything in Gitmbob that isn't in Moonclan in terms of models?

Wolf Riders and Chariots and the artillery pieces.  I think its the artillery pieces that most people are upset about.  To be fair, that Doom Diver was pretty sweet and flavorful.
Oh, I almost forgot about Snotlings and their Pump Wagons!  Poor Snotlings... 😢

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3 minutes ago, Kamose said:

Wolf Riders and Chariots and the artillery pieces.  I think its the artillery pieces that most people are upset about.  To be fair, that Doom Diver was pretty sweet and flavorful.
Oh, I almost forgot about Snotlings and their Pump Wagons!  Poor Snotlings... 😢

So all the stuff that failed to make it into plastic. Gotcha. Hopefully it'll see a return in the next update since this one was Squig and Troggoth focused and they only have so much budget for models in each book release.

Edited by Fulkes

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1 minute ago, Fulkes said:

So all the stuff that failed to make it into plastic. Gotcha. Hopefully it'll see a return in the next update since this one was Squig and Troggoth focused and they only have so much budget for model updates.

To be fair the Wolf Riders and Gitmob Grot infantry models were plastic; really old and ugly as hell, but plastic.

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2 minutes ago, Kamose said:

To be fair the Wolf Riders and Gitmob Grot infantry models were plastic; really old and ugly as hell, but plastic.

Could have been an issue with the molds then. If the mold gets too worm they retire them after all.

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Yeah, they also had the plastic kit for the actual Gitmob Grots themselves, and a plastic Gitmob Shaman hero (quite characteful) which was briefly rebadged as a Madcap Shaman on the webstore when GG dropped.

The artillery was a very popular Allies choice for things like Ironjawz and Gloomspite (even though Doom Divers were an old kit they were very cool and iconic), and the Gitmob Grots themselves were a staple of Mixed Destruction armies.

What I'd personally like to see is a Battletome: The Savage Tribes.  So basically a green version of Beasts of Chaos.  Give the keyword to all relevant Forgeworld Monsters that don't already have a keyword (the same way they gave Gloomspite keyword to the Troggoth Hag when GG came out).  Pull in the old kits such as Gitmob and Greeskinz (plastic) and the artillery (Finecast), and give them terrain plus Endless Spells.  Make the existing kits usable with proper rules, the same way BOC are, and worry about maybe updating some of the Finecast to plastic in 3 years time or something.

Not saying that is going to happen - but it's my own best case scenario.

Edited by PlasticCraic
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Considering the updates they've given us to older models, an updated Doom Diver would probably be the kit of the year.

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Yeah I've thought that before too.  When you look at the step change from the old Black Coach to the new one, updated Grot artillery could be something really special!

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1 minute ago, PlasticCraic said:

Yeah I've thought that before too.  When you look at the step change from the old Black Coach to the new one, updated Grot artillery could be something really special!

Squig Hoppers are an even more recent example. 

My general hope is thst the kit will be able to function as at least two different artillery units, if not three or four. Let the players figure out how to use the extra bits, just give us a lot of options in the box.

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Redone gitmob could be folded into BS perfectly imo. I think they could add greenskinz as is to IJ as lesser orruks.

Probably wishful thinking.

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11 hours ago, Fulkes said:

@PlasticCraic Was there anything in Gitmbob that isn't in Moonclan in terms of models?

The artillery pieces. The artillery pieces that they were still selling at the start of this year.

That's the real issue for me- you can buy an item from the website and months later it's scenery - I didn't buy the goblin arty but I did buy 3 x Dawnspire boxes a couple of years ago and my Skaven can no longer use the mortar (on of the newest plastic kits in the skaven range). 

As a 40k customer I get treated way better than I do as an AoS customer. 

7 hours ago, svnvaldez said:

Redone gitmob could be folded into BS perfectly imo. I think they could add greenskinz as is to IJ as lesser orruks.

Probably wishful thinking.

I'm hoping for the greenskinz thing myself just because Ironjawz don't work thematically without them- Ironjawz are bigger, tougher, orruks but without standard orruks what are they bigger and tougher than?

To have a size large you need a size medium or a size small - if everybody is super then nobody is.

Edited by MrZakalwe
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On 6/25/2019 at 2:01 PM, MrZakalwe said:

The artillery pieces. The artillery pieces that they were still selling at the start of this year.

That's the real issue for me- you can buy an item from the website and months later it's scenery - I didn't buy the goblin arty but I did buy 3 x Dawnspire boxes a couple of years ago and my Skaven can no longer use the mortar (on of the newest plastic kits in the skaven range). 

As a 40k customer I get treated way better than I do as an AoS customer. 

Have you fed this back to GW?

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I'm late to this thread but kind of wanted to throw in my 2c.... 

GW has come a long way in terms of balancing and regular updates. Especially compared to 7th/8th ed WFB where we often waited 2-3 years for any updates or even an FAQ.  

That being said... these have been fairly safe baby steps.  
I'm still amazed that GW has been able to sustain a weekly release schedule (with some from of new product almost every single week of the year). 
However, their rules writing languishes behind.  

It's clear some things get rushed already . For example, the GHB terrain rules or the increasing number of "day 1" errata and FAQs. That combined with every increasing FAQ/Errata documents makes me hesitant to bring up this next point... but considering it's been done fairly sucessfuly by other gaming companies, it's worth mentioning. 

GW needs to innovate and make a giant leap forward in how they handle game rules/points/balance. 
We've started to see inklings of digital updates, online builders like the warscroll and kill team ones and the Azyr app are a good start.  
But while we're still stuck in the 1990s mentality of printing battletomes/armybooks/codex we'll always have the same problems.  
And they're exasperated buy things like these Chinese shipping problems that Sylvaneth are struggling with now. 

So what's the solution? Well... we already have a decent basis for a solution. The Azyr app.  
With a small monthly subscription, you get access to the list builder and most of the warscrolls in the game. Having to pay for both the hard copy and soft copy of an army book is stupid and I really hope that get's fixed first. 
Having battletomes and rules as online living documents, that can receive regular (eg quarterly) updates/fixes/balance changes is the natural next step.  
I know some people like hard cover books..... keep that for lore, maps, artwork etc.. 
Part of the reason we don't get regular updates and balance changes is because no one likes invalidating a $80 book and/or warscroll cards. It's also why companies in general don't like doing errata. 
The GHB kind of does that already and you can think of that book as a yearly AoS subscription....  but it simply doesn't do enough and it's not regular enough. 
Smaller incremental updates on a more regular basis are almost always better than big sweeping changes once per year.... and you're also much less susceptible to the long development/printing/shipping cycles for books. 
We see this right now with the FEC (and skaven I guess) power creep, where the books are too new to be adjusted in the GHB, so now they need a separate FAQ a month later. 

Doing updates in the manner (similar to how games like X-wing do it I guess) also gives you the opportunity to tweak things mid cycle, and your releases don't have to be tied to a full army update schedule.  
You can do things like these 2 faction box sets, and roll in a quick rules update or a new unit or whatever straight into the app or whatever. You don't need to time it with a new battletome, you can just add that one extra page/warscroll to the existing digital battletome.   

The development cycle becomes much more fluid, and would be able to react to significant issues in a more timely manner. This generally would lead to a healthier game, but it also means you can throw each army a bone for much less effort.  
There's simply too many overlapping problems and FAQ issues right now.... and it only gets worse with every new release. The fact that we need whole articles about "who fights first" is another great example.  

Having everything digital and easily update-able also makes it easier to fix small wording mistakes and standardize some of the interactions. GW has never been great with writing consistent rules and using consistent wording but they are getting better. However they are again hampered by the relatively slow book printing cycle. The mix of "wholly within" rules for some of the newer battletomes is a great example of this. 


And at end of the day the GHB doesn't really allow them to tweak anything other than points and allegiance abilities for armies without books. 
Everything else is buried in FAQ and Errata, difficult to keep track off and generally annoying to implement. 
I'd like to see more warscroll balancing done on a regular basis rather than just point changes. Kind of how they upgraded spite revenants in the new Sylvaneth book... those kind of updates for clearly under performing units can easily be made in a digital book format. Eg.... let's just change this 4+ to a 3+.... now the unit is worth it, and competitive with the other army options.  Maybe that's a huge change, maybe it a minor one.... but it's much easier to implement when you don't have to worry about printing a new edition of an expensive book.

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Hello to all, im new in this forum so because my question is similar to this topic i just post it here. 

First and most important i would like to ask where is it possible to give feedback to the Age of Sigmar rule writers or for example now the ones who increased the points in GHB 2019?? I searched like 2 hours now but i only found an old invitation from 2018 on facebook for suggestions for the actual GHB. Is it still possible they could change the points via Faq or anything like this or are the points of the units now nailed till 2020 :/ ?

Where could i write for example that Morghasts would need a save of 3+ or any other bonus that they are useful to play? What are your thoughts on Morghasts why are this great looking models not relly competitive or will they ever get the summonable rule? 

I recently bought Nagash now hes 850 (the Morghasts decreased 20 but this is no help when i would like to feld 4 of them because the saving is still not there because of the 50p increase). Im also a bit afraid Nagash lost his power because the umbral spellportal is 70p and the new arcane passage rule is a bit heavy for this point cost. What do you think at this points, can they still decrease points, improve rules? Maybe i should also add that i mostly play 1500P games, thats why im concerned of the point increase :/ 

Thank you all and have a nice weekend

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2 hours ago, Inquisitorsz said:

So what's the solution? Well... we already have a decent basis for a solution. The Azyr app.  
With a small monthly subscription, you get access to the list builder and most of the warscrolls in the game. Having to pay for both the hard copy and soft copy of an army book is stupid and I really hope that get's fixed first. 
Having battletomes and rules as online living documents, that can receive regular (eg quarterly) updates/fixes/balance changes is the natural next step.  
I know some people like hard cover books..... keep that for lore, maps, artwork etc.. 
Part of the reason we don't get regular updates and balance changes is because no one likes invalidating a $80 book and/or warscroll cards. It's also why companies in general don't like doing errata. 
The GHB kind of does that already and you can think of that book as a yearly AoS subscription....  but it simply doesn't do enough and it's not regular enough. 
Smaller incremental updates on a more regular basis are almost always better than big sweeping changes once per year.... and you're also much less susceptible to the long development/printing/shipping cycles for books. 
We see this right now with the FEC (and skaven I guess) power creep, where the books are too new to be adjusted in the GHB, so now they need a separate FAQ a month later. 

Doing updates in the manner (similar to how games like X-wing do it I guess) also gives you the opportunity to tweak things mid cycle, and your releases don't have to be tied to a full army update schedule.  
You can do things like these 2 faction box sets, and roll in a quick rules update or a new unit or whatever straight into the app or whatever. You don't need to time it with a new battletome, you can just add that one extra page/warscroll to the existing digital battletome.   

The main problem with the subscription thing is. You pay every month to use the rules, but if the producer changes something or stops the service (let's say they would stop AoS and make a new game like they did with WHFB) everything is basicly gone.

We basicly have seen this with Gitmob Grots or the Poison Wind Mortar team now. If you only have the app they are basicly erased from memory and only people who download the PDFs or have a physical copy of the Book they had an warscroll in.

And most of the time you are forced to use a device to read it (because most of the time you can't print it), so you can hope that the battery pack will hold long enough.

 

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